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Community: The Structure of Belonging (Anglais) Broché – 1 septembre 2009
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Présentation de l'éditeur
We know what healthy communities look like there are many success stories out there, and they've been described in detail. What Block provides in this inspiring new book is an exploration of the exact way community can emerge from fragmentation: How is community built? How does the transformation occur? What fundamental shifts are involved? He explores a way of thinking about our places that creates an opening for authentic communities to exist and details what each of us can do to make that happen.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
After reading the book, I am more focused on the process with which we will do all this. Focusing more on the act of gathering people together either online or in-person, we can determine the best ways for our community of far-flung employees to start working together to improve everyone's success in what we will all accomplish. To risk the use of an old cliche, Block's suggestion is that it is the journey by which we do this more so than any final best practices that we may reach at the destination. So for the original goal that I set out to accomplish in buying this book, such a focus on the ongoing conversation and the ways we are interacting with each other may prove most effective as we establish such a community within our organization.
What was unexpected and a huge plus were the comments Block makes about the way our American systems (i.e., economic, political, educational, social services, media) have become and made all of us so fragmented. I've read many books over the past year that lament how our government is hopelessly partisan, our classes are hopelessly unequal, our values are maker vs. taker, etc. All of those books explain the issues but few have good solutions. Block explains the problem much more elegantly -- that our individualistic narrative; the inward attention of our institutions, corporations and our professions; and the messages from our media all work to make us feel isolated and fragmented from everyone else. He suggests that building greater community among us and reversing the path we are on now is not through government, corporations or large institutions with mandates, budgets and power to make things better. Nor will some super leaders come in with the magical strategies to finally make things better. Rather, Block is saying that we can only do that for ourselves by deciding to work with others in our communities to make things better for everyone.
So, this book is more than just an academic focus on what communities can do to change things for the better. It is the opposite of what Charles Murray set out to suggest in his inflammatory book "Coming Apart." But as some critics of Block suggest, his prescription to work together is not the answer in and of itself. It is the hard work cities, organizations, school systems, social service organizations, and citizens committees all must do to change the context of what they want to accomplish, create the gatherings and structure to start accomplishing the ends that we have so long been trying to reach.